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Judge: No depositions of other chief executives in Delta suit

Sept. 17, 2008, Atlanta, GA - A U.S. federal judge says a lawyer for 28 air travellers suing to block Delta Air Lines Inc.'s acquisition of Northwest Airlines Corp. cannot question the chief executives of four other major carriers about their views on airline industry consolidation.


September 17, 2008
By The Canadian Press

Sept. 17, 2008, Atlanta, GA – A U.S. federal judge says a lawyer for 28 air
travellers suing to block Delta Air Lines Inc.'s acquisition of
Northwest Airlines Corp. cannot question the chief executives of
four other major carriers about their views on airline industry
consolidation.

An electronic docket entry in the case filed in U.S. District
Court in San Francisco says the request to allow depositions of the
CEOs of American Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways and
United Airlines has been denied.

Lawyers for Delta and Northwest said in a letter to the court on
Tuesday that granting the request would allow an “immaterial
sideshow'' and they asked the court to reject it.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Joseph Alioto said he wanted to question the
four CEOs about public statements they have previously made about
industry consolidation. Alioto said some of the comments were
included in a document submitted by Northwest's CEO to Northwest's
board of directors.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is set to preside over the Nov.
5 trial in San Francisco. Testimony is expected to last 10 days, and
Walker could rule by Thanksgiving.

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The Delta-Northwest stock-swap deal announced April 14 would
create the world's largest carrier in terms of traffic. The deal is
likely to gain shareholder and regulatory approval, leaving court
intervention as the only thing that might stand in the way.
 
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to block the
combination, arguing that it violates antitrust law and will
substantially lessen competition. The lawsuit was filed June 18.